Maggi Takes the Health Route
- Pages: 3
- Word count: 608
- Category: Health
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In May 2006, Nestlé India Ltd. (NIL), a major FMCG company in the country and a subsidiary of the Switzerland-based Nestlé Group, launched a new instant noodles product called Maggi Dal Atta Noodles (Dal Atta Noodles) under the popular Maggi brand . The Dal Atta Noodles were made of whole wheat and contained pulses, and positioned as a ‘healthy’ instant noodles product that provided 20 percent of the daily RDA of dietary fiber and protein for a child aged between 7 and 9. This was the latest addition to the range of ‘healthy’ products NIL had been launching over the early 2000s. Over the years, Maggi noodles became a popular snack food product in India. During the 1990s, the sales of Maggi noodles declined, and this was attributed partly to the growing popularity of Top Ramen , another instant noodles product. In order to improve sales and attract more consumers, NIL changed the formulation of Maggi noodles in 1997. However, this proved to be a mistake, as consumers did not like the taste of the new noodles.
In March 1999, NIL reintroduced the old formulation of the noodles, after which the sales revived. Over the years, NIL also introduced several other products like soups and cooking aids under the Maggi brand However, these products were not as successful as the instant noodles. In the early 2000s, Maggi was the leader in the branded instant noodles segment, and the company faced little serious competition in this segment. In the early 2000s, NIL started introducing new ‘healthy’ products in accordance with the Nestlé Group’s global strategy to transform itself into a health and wellness company.NIL also adopted the same strategy for the Maggi brand with the launch of the Maggi Vegetable Atta Noodles which was another variant of Maggi’s healthy instant noodles. NIL introduced the Maggi brand to Indian consumers when it launched Maggi 2 Minute Noodles, an instant food product, in 1982 At that time, Indian consumers were rather conservative in their food habits, preferring to eat traditional Indian dishes rather than canned or packaged food. In fact, NIL was trying to create an entirely new food category, instant noodles, in India.
Initially, the company targeted working women on the premise that Maggi noodles were fast to cook and hence offered convenience However, this approach failed as was evident from the fact that the sales of Maggi noodles were not picking up despite heavy media advertising. To get to the root of the problem, NIL conducted a research, which revealed that it was children who liked the taste of Maggi noodles and who were the largest consumers of the product. After this, NIL shifted its focus from working women and targeted children and their mothers through its marketing. NIL’s promotions positioned the noodles as a ‘convenience product’, for mothers and as a ‘fun’ product for children. The noodles’ tagline, ‘Fast to Cook Good to Eat’ was also in keeping with this positioning. NIL aggressively promoted Maggi noodles through several schemes like distributing free samples, giving gifts on the return of empty packs, etc. NIL’s advertising too played a great role in communicating the benefits of the product to target consumers. Through its ads, NIL positioned Maggi as a ‘fun’ food for kids which mothers could prepare easily. Taglines like ‘Mummy, bhookh lagi hai’ (Mom, I’m hungry), ‘Bas 2-Minute,’ (Only 2 minutes) and ‘Fast to Cook Good to Eat’ effectively communicated the product’s benefits to target consumers. These ads had become so popular that the tagline ‘Bas 2-Minute’ immediately reminded Indian consumers of Maggi noodles even several years after the ads were taken off the TV.